To measure fans’ perceptions of rivalry, we provide our survey respondents with 100 ‘rivalry points’ to allocate across their favorite team’s opponents. We also ask respondents about their feelings and reactions toward rivals, as well as why their favorite team and the teams to which respondents allocate points should be considered rivals.
See the About page for a more thorough explanation of rivalry points.
Defining moment: Specific incident, positive or negative, between the competitors
Frequency of competition: Recurring competition between the opponents
Historical parity: Comparable success over a long period (greater than 10 years)
Recent parity: Comparable success within the last 10 years
Star factor: Extraordinary individuals (performers, personalities, or legacies)
Geography: Teams are located close to each other
Cultural similarity: Shared values between the teams/institutions/cities
Competition for personnel: Competition for recruits, coaches, players
Cultural difference: Disparate values between the teams/institutions/cities
Relative dominance: One team aspires to overcome the historical success or dominance of the other team
Unfairness: Perceived preferential treatment toward one team by league or competition authorities (e.g., governing bodies, referees)
Journal article: Tyler, B. D., Morehead, C., Cobbs, J. B., & DeSchriver, T. D. (2017). What is rivalry? Old and new approaches to specifying rivalry in demand estimations of spectator sports. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 26(4), 204-222. URL
1 minute video summary, part of SMQ Podcast
Journal article: Cobbs, J. B., Sparks, D., & Tyler, B. D. (2017). Comparing rivalry effects across professional sports: National Football League fans exhibit most animosity. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 26(4), 235-246. URL
1 minute video summary, part of SMQ Podcast
Journal article: Cobbs, J. B. & Tyler, B. D. (In press). The genesis of team rivalry in the New World: Sparks to fan animosity in Major League Soccer. Soccer & Society. doi: 10.1080/14660970.2017.1399609
Journal article: Parrish, C. T., & Tyler, B. D. (In press). Superclásicos and rivalry antecedents: Exploring soccer club rivalries in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Soccer & Society. doi: 10.1080/14660970.2017.1399604
Conference presentation: Morehead, C., Cobbs, J. B., DeSchriver, T. D., & Tyler, B. D. (2017, October). Accounting for rivalry in estimations of demand in MLS and the NHL. Research presented at the Annual Conference for the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Boston, MA. Presentation slides (forthcoming)
Conference presentation: Xantos, Y., Laumann, M., Harris, S., Cobbs, J. B., & Tyler, B. D. (2017, October). Sparks to the rivalry fire: Comparing the antecedents to rivalry across professional sports. Research presented at the Annual Conference for the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Boston, MA. Presentation slides (forthcoming)
Conference presentation: Nichols, B., Cobbs, J. B., & Tyler, B. D. (2017, August). Data-driven approaches to cause-related sports marketing: Conflicting effects of rival team presence. Research presented at the Summer Conference for the American Marketing Association (Summer AMA), San Francisco, CA. Presentation slides (forthcoming)
Conference presentation: Cobbs, J. B. & Tyler, B. D. (2017, June). Rivalry in Major League Soccer: Antecedents to rival fan discrimination. Research presented at the Annual Conference for the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), Denver, CO. Presentation slides
Journal article: Tyler, B. D. & Cobbs, J. B. (2017). All rivals are not equal: Clarifying misrepresentations and discerning three core properties of rivalry. Journal of Sport Management, 31, pp 1-14. DOI:10.1123/jsm.2015-0371
Results consistently indicate that fans perceive multiple rivals (non-exclusive), rivalry intensity varies among rivals (continuous in scale), and opposing fans rarely share equivalent perceptions of the rivalry (bidirectional). Accordingly, we develop and test a parsimonious 100-point rivalry allocation measure that specifies these three properties of rivalry.
Conference presentation: Sparks, D., Cobbs, J. B., Tyler, B. D., & Gardner, J. (2016, November). Measuring rivalry across professional leagues: Is animosity consistent across sports? Research presented at the Annual Conference for the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Indianapolis, IN. Presentation slides
Conference poster: Folz, A., & Cobbs, J. (2016, November). The spoils of championships: Fan identification, envy, and rivalry. Research presented at the Annual Conference for the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Indianapolis, IN. Poster (pdf)
Conference presentation: Ditter, J., Cobbs, J., Tyler, B. D., & Nichols, B. S., (2016, November). Rivalry variation by geographic region: Are Canadians really more friendly? Research presented at the Annual Conference for the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Indianapolis, IN. Presentation slides
Conference presentation: Tyler, B. D., & Cobbs, J. (2016, August). Why is rivalry important to college football fans? A comparative analysis of 12 elements. Research presented at the Summer Educators Conference for the American Marketing Association (AMA), Atlanta, GA.
Journal article: Tyler, B. D. & Cobbs, J. B. (2015). Rival conceptions of rivalry: Why some competitions mean more than others. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(2), 227-248, DOI:10.1080/16184742.2015.1010558
Results and findings
Conference Presentation: Tyler, B. D. & Cobbs, J. B. (2014, May). Visualizing rivalry intensity: A Social Network Analysis of fan perceptions. Research presented at the meeting of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), Pittsburgh, PA.
Full Abstract | Presentation Slides
Conference Presentation: Tyler, B. D. & Cobbs, J. B. (2009, October). Advancing toward an understanding of sport rivalry. Paper presented at the meeting of the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Cleveland, OH.
This is a limited but ever growing list. Please email us with omissions.
Angell, R., Gorton, M., Bottomley, P., & White, J. (2016). Understanding fans’ responses to the sponsor of a rival team. European Sports Management Quarterly, 16(2), 190-213. doi:10.1080/16184742.2015.1135975
Havard, C. T., Eddy, T. W., & Ryan, T. D. (2016). Examining the impact of team identification and gender on rival perceptions and consumption intentions of intercollegiate athletics fans. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 8(2). doi:10.18666/JASM-2016-V8-I2-6444
Lenor, S., Lenten, L., & Mckenzie, J. (2016). Rivalry effects and unbalanced schedule optimization in the Australian Football League. Review of Industrial Organization, 49(1), 43-69. doi:10.1007/s11151-015-9495-7
Wann, D. L., Havard, C. T., Grieve, G. F., Lante, J. R., Partridge, J. A., & Zapalac, R. K. (2016). Investigating sport rivals: Number, evaluations and relationship with team identification. Journal of Fandom Studies, 4, 71-88. doi:10.1386/jfs.4.1.71_1
Converse, B. A. & Reinhard, D. A. (2016). On rivalry and goal pursuit: Shared competitive history, legacy concerns, and strategy selection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(2), 191-213. doi:10.1037/pspa0000038
Kilduff, G., Galinksy, A., Gallo, E., & Reade, J. (2016). Whatever it takes to win: Rivalry increases unethical behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 59(5), 1508-1534. doi:10.5465/amj.2014.0545
Delia, E. B. (2015). The exclusiveness of group identity in celebrations of team success. Sport Management Review, 18, 396-406. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2014.10.006
Quintanar, S. M., Deck, C., Reyes, J. A., & Sarangi, S. (2015). You are close to your rival and everybody hates a winner: A study of rivalry in college football. Economic Inquiry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12215
Tyler, B. D. & Cobbs, J. B. (2015). Rival conceptions of rivalry: Why some competitions mean more than others. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(2), 227-248. 10.1080/16184742.2015.1010558
Sanford, K. & Scott, F. (2014). Assessing the intensity of sports rivalries using data from secondary market transactions. Journal of Sports Economics http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1527002514527112
Kilduff, G. J. (2014). Driven to win: Rivalry, motivation, and performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1948550614539770
Havard, C. T. (2014). Glory Out of Reflected Failure: The examination of how rivalry affects sport fans. Sport Management Review, 17, 243-253. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2013.09.002
Dmowski, S. (2013). Geographical typology of European football rivalries. Soccer & Society, 14, 331-343. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2013.801264
Havard, C. T. & Eddy, T. (2013). Qualitative assessment of rivalry and conference realignment in intercollegiate athletics. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 6, 216-235.
Havard, C. T., Gray, D. P., Gould, J., Sharp, L. A., & Schaffer, J. J. (2013). Development and validation of the Sport Rivalry Fan Perception Scale (SRFPS). Journal of Sport Behavior, 36, 45-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJSMM.2013.060628
Havard, C. T., Reams, L., & Gray, D. P. (2013). Perceptions of highly identified fans regarding rival teams in United States intercollegiate football and men’s basketball. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 14, 116-132.
Havard, C. T., Wann, D. L., & Ryan, T. D. (2013). Investigating the impact of conference realignment on rivalry in intercollegiate athletics. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 22, 224-234.
Benkwitz, A. & Molnar, G. (2012). Interpreting and exploring football fan rivalries: An overview. Soccer & Society, 13, 479-494.
Dalakas, V. & Melancon, J. P. (2012). Fan identification, schadenfreude toward hated rivals, and the mediating effects of Importance of Winning Index (IWIN). Journal of Services Marketing, 26, 51-59.
Cikara, M., Botvinick, M. M, & Fiske, S. T. (2011). Us versus them: Social identity shapes neural responses to intergroup competition and harm. Psychological Science, 22(3) 306-313.
Kilduff, G.J., Elfenbein, H.A., & Staw, B.M. (2010). The psychology of rivalry: A relationally dependent analysis of competition. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 943-969.
Luellen, T. B. & Wann, D. L. (2010). Rival salience and sport team identification. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 19, 97-106.
Tyler, B. D. & Cobbs, J. B. (2009, October). Advancing toward an understanding of sport rivalry. Paper presented at the meeting of the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), Cleveland, OH.
Armstrong, G. & Giulianotti, R. (Eds.) (2001). Fear and loathing in world football. Oxford, UK: Berg.